Plan B is an emergency contraceptive designed to prevent pregnancy within 5 days after a contraceptive failure or unprotected sex. The pill contains 1.5 milligrams of the active ingredient levonorgestrel, and is believed to act principally by interfering with the process of ovulation, fertilization, or implantation. Some of women might have bleeding after Plan B within three weeks of taking the pill.
Is It Normal to Have Bleeding After Plan B?
Yes it’s normal, and there isn’t any reason to worry if you bleed after taking Plan B emergency contraceptive pills. Although it’s not a very common side effect, the hormones in the pills may influence the hormone in your body, and cause some women to bleed at unexpected times. Approximately 26% of women who take Plan B can experience some sort of change in their menstrual cycle. However, you should consult with your health care provider if the bleeding lasts more than a few days.
Effects Plan B Will Have on Your Period
Occasionally, Plan B emergency contraception may change the time and length of your period, making your next menstrual cycle come a week earlier or a week later than normal depending on when in your menstrual cycle you took the pill.
1. Early Period
Medical experts have found that women who take the full dose of this emergency contraceptive at one time during the first three weeks of their period got their monthly menstrual cycles much sooner than expected. They also found that the earlier in their period women took the pill, the sooner they started their menstrual cycle. For women who took the full dose of emergency contraception in the fourth week of their period, they started their menstrual cycle at the normal time.
2. Longer Menstrual Cycles
Menstrual period duration increases significantly when Plan B emergency contraceptive is taken three days before ovulation, and the duration of the period is also longer when Plan B is taken more than two days after ovulation. Some women may also experience inter-menstrual bleeding, and it’s more common when the emergency contraceptive is taken during the pre-ovulatory phase.
When Should You Worry?
Bleeding after Plan B is normal, and is something many women will experience after taking the medication.However, you should know that in rare cases, your unusual bleeding could be caused by something else that may be more serious. For example, if you develop severe lower abdominal pain 3 to 5 weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive, or if you have spotting or bleeding lasting longer than a week, contact your health care provider. They may be symptoms or signs of an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg will implant outside the uterus, usually in a Fallopian tube, or it could be a miscarriage.
Are There Any Side Effects of Plan B?
Most women have taken Plan B emergency contraception without any serious complications. However, it’s very important to ask your physician about the possible interactions with other medications you may be taking. Plan B is considered safe for most women, but you should not take it if you are pregnant, because it is not an abortifacient drug. Possible side effects of Plan B include:
- breast tenderness
- abdominal pain
- menstrual changes
What to Do If Side Effects Occur?
If you have a history of side effects, or you’re worried about side effects when taking Plan B, talk with your health are provider about the concerns. The good news is, they may be able to prescribe additional medicine that may help you treat or prevent side effects if they occur. If you experience dizziness or nausea after taking Plan B, it’s important for you to lie down to discourage any vomiting. However, if you vomit within an hour of taking Plan B, call your health care provider to find out if you should take an additional Plan B dose.
Is Plan B 100% Successful?
Plan B is not 100% effective. The sooner you take the emergency contraceptive, the more effective it will be at preventing an unplanned pregnancy. Plan B is most effective if taken within 3 days (72 hours), but it can be used up to 5 days after an unprotected sexual encounter, and still prevent pregnancy. Medical experts have determined that 15 women out of 100 who use Plan B within 72 hours will become pregnant. What’s important to remember is that Plan B prevents pregnancy, but it does not end one if you are already pregnant.